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ViewMate Posting VM 11482

Submitted by Marilyn Sheridan

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Information Picture Question
Category: Photo Identification
Approval Date: 3/19/2008
Family Surname: SIGAL
Country: Austria
Town: Vienna
Date of Image: around 1918
Click the picture to enlarge

What WWI uniform is this? My father (Bernhard SIGAL - the little boy - b. 1913) said his father (Israel SIGAL - b. 1887) was a cavalry officer; fought with a "fixed bayonet"; was awarded a medal. He also served as a translator, as he had a natural ability learning languages. His troops loved him, and visited him in Vienna after the war. Were Jews permitted to be officers? Where might he have fought?

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3/23/2008 Try to contact someone from the Austrian Embassy and ask where the military records are kept. Good luck. If you do get an answer, post the details.
Francine Shapiro
I have had similar problems.

I think that your G.father was probably in the Austro-Hungarian Army (K.U.K) and was a junior non-commisioned officer. As he wore a bayonet he would have been in the infantry.

I suggest that you look in www, it has a list of the different types of uniform and insignia during WW1

Good Luck
3/23/2008 Your grandfather's uniform is exactly like the 1 my uncle was wearing in photos from WWI, except for the star on the collar. My uncle David Goldman [b. 1895]was drafted into the Austrian army [infantry] from his small town in Galicia, & spent most of the war as a prisoner of the Russians. If you find out anything interesting please post to the Gesher Galicia SIG. Thanks,
3/24/2008 Riding boots (but not necessarily cavalery, as the cavalery units were transformed into infantry use after beginning of the war) - but he might have had a horse

One star, somewhat distinct. Could be lieutenant, could be private - depending if the star is simple or more distinct.

Knife, could be bayonet, could be portepee. Would be unusual for a lieutenant. Portepee is for sergeants, so would not make sense.

Also has a cord on the right shoulder, could be a distinction for shooting results, or functional sign.

My first idea was to say "private", but on the second look it might also be a lieutenant.


Sorry, no clear answer, but maybe some hints?
Johannes Heidecker (
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